Tsuyoshi Kitazawa

Position: MF
Born: 10-Aug-1968
Height/Weight: 170/67
Birthplace: Tokyo
Previous Teams: Shutoku HS; Honda FC; Verdy Kawasaki; Tokyo Verdy
Appearances (J1/J2): 268/0 Goals: 41/0
First Appearance: 15-May-1993 Verdy Kawasaki -vs- Yokohama Marinos (at National Stadium)
First Goal : 19-May-1993 Verdy Kawasaki -vs- JEF Ichihara (at National Stadium)


Tsuyoshi Kitazawa was undoubtedly one of the most "prominent" players who graced the J.League during its first decade, despite the fact that his statistics may pale beside those of most other stars. Former teammate Ruy Ramos once jokingly described him as "the most valuable, and the most talentless player I ever met". Kitazawa was always a throwback to an era when players were able to make a competitive contribution to a sports team through sheer force of determination and relentless competitive spirit. Though the description of "talentless" is certainly an overstatement, it is true that Kitazawa's pure footballing skills were mediocre at best. He was neither big (170cm) nor fast, and his dribbling ability was close to nonexistent.

But Kitazawa learned to make up for his weaknesses through hard work and intelligent, uncompromising play. He did have a very good sense of positioning, a strong and fairly accurate boot, and could pass the ball reasonably well. He also clearly understood the game in a way that only an elite few can match. This ability to analyze and explain the game earned him a spot as one of the most popular colour commentators on TV, following his playing career. It also served him well as a coach in Cambodia, where he earned a reputation as an early and important contributor to the growth of the sport. However what made Kitazawa a first-string and first-rate player even on the star-studded Verdy teams of the early 1990s was his incredible competitiveness and blazing intensity.

Kitazawa never learned the meaning of the word "quit", and even after he passed the age of 30 he was one of the most tireless pressing midfielders Japan ever produced. Kitazawa won a number of national team caps early in his career, before the level of skill among other Japanese players reached the point where his energy and competitiveness could no longer make up for his lack of technique. In a league that is often criticised for being too "polite", Kitazawa was one of the few players who showed absolutely no cordiality or compassion once he stepped onto the pitch. Off the field, he was a very popular and mild-mannered individual, but once the whistle blew to begin play, anyone wearing a different coloured uniform was "the enemy". That, truly, is the definition of a competitor.

Photo Year Team Uniform # Appearances Goals
- 1993 Verdy Kawasaki 35 6
- 1994 Verdy Kawasaki 40 9
- 1995 Verdy Kawasaki 40 11
- 1996 Verdy Kawasaki 28 4
- 1997 Verdy Kawasaki 29 1
- 1998 Verdy Kawasaki 34 5
1999 Verdy Kawasaki 28 4
2000 Verdy Kawasaki 4 0
2001 Tokyo Verdy 23 0
2002 Tokyo Verdy 7 1
- J.League TOTAL 268 41